State legislators ask judges to stop Wheatland sex offender placements

Four area state legislators have formally added their voices to those asking that the placement in a Wheatland home of two sex offenders on supervised release not take place.

State Rep. Tyler August, state Sen. Steve Nass, State Rep. Samantha Kerkman and state Sen. Van Wanggaard sent letters signed by all four to Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Mark Sanders and Racine County Circuit Judge Allan Torhorst on Thursday. The letters ask both judges to halt the placement of the two sex offenders in a residence in the 32200 block of Highway 50 in Wheatland.

“As legislators that represent Kenosha County, we take the safety of our constituents very seriously, especially when children are involved,” both letters say.

Wheatland is in August’s and Nass’ districts, while Kerkman and Wanggaard represent adjacent districts.

Last week, the impending placement of two sex offenders in the supervised release program into the Wheatland residence came to light after a meeting with local law enforcement and state officials. Wheatland Constable Bob Santelli then began mobilizing forces to block the placements, especially since a family with a 1-year-old child lives next door. Deputy District Attorney Michael Graveley, Wheatland prosecuting attorney Todd Terry, the Sheriff’s Department and Santelli have been working on the issue since. On Wednesday, they presented information on the situation along with state Department of Heath Service officials at a meeting at Wheatland Town Hall in New Munster.

DHS, upon further review, determined that one of the offenders, Robert McGee from Milwaukee County, did fit the statutory definition of a serious child sex offender and has reportedly asked Judge Sanders to rescind the placement order, the same action the legislators ask for.

However, DHS contends the other offender, Michael McGee of Racine County, does not fit the statutory definition and is still seeking the placement. This is chiefly because of when the conviction occurred.

County officials, however, believe the presence of the 1 year old next door has not been made known in court and they plan to do so at the next hearing this Wednesday in Racine.

The legislators’ letter to Racine County Judge Torhorst also points out that in addition to the presence of the 1 year old next door, the proposed Wheatland placement is “a poor choice” due to its proximity to a a county bike trail, a town parking area frequented by children for recreational activities on the Fox River, and a private fireworks stand “that is very popular with local children.”

“We believe the state must find an alternate location,” the letter to Torhorst concludes.

At the meeting on Wednesday, Gravely encouraged community members to also write respectful letters, especially to Torhorst, since the state is still supporting the placement of the Racine County individual in Wheatland.

The offenders are not related.

A copy of the letter to Sanders is here.

A copy of the letter tor Torhorst is here.



  1. Matt says:

    So here is what they need to start doing with these sex offenders who are seriously “that dangerous”. Fly them to an island with no food or water or electricity, surrounded by sharks until they die a slow, painful death! The most it would cost tax payers is the flight to this island. There, problem solved. Maybe, just maybe that will send a clear message to others! There are just too many of them now! Time to ” clean house”.

  2. it is pretty clear says:

    It is pretty clear that we need longer sentences for predators. If these people are let loose but still need monitoring and such placement provisions are necessary then THEY ARE NOT REHABILITATED and the SENTENCES are too short. It is about time that the legislators get together and finally create classes of sexual offenses and to lengthen the terms of those who are predators and attackers. The excuse that we have no prisons is a farce. My neighbors should not have to be making their homes self-prisons because of the state’s inability to do their jobs of protecting me. I question too, the zoning of the house being considered. Is it a single family residence or an apartment? These men are unrelated. They are NOT a single family. The DHS would be in violation of placing them in this home on that alone. Also, what about the return of the ‘prisoner’ (yes, they are still prisoners!) to their own area. When did this removal to a place outside of their personal neighborhood become the method used for placement by the DHS? And why doesn’t the DHS have to notify all those parcels (just like P&Z) that will be affected by this ‘prison’ being created in a residential neighborhood? Yes, this house is a prison. The state is renting it; the state is responsible for that goes in that house. It is a prison and is not per the P&Z of that location. Supervised Release – That is an excuse to not house prisoners in prison. Time for that to stop. The four involved now, could make that happen.

    Time for the four to get together and MAKE law that will change this situation. And hopefully, they will make it retroactive! Time for them to GET TO WORK.

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